Category Archives: Uncategorized

Hartshire Noble Council

Hartshire Noble Council is the fifth novella in the Nambroc Sequence, a fantasy series. The novella is live and available for purchase on Amazon, and soon with other vendors such as Barnes & Noble, iBooks, and Kobo.

The blurb for Hartshire Noble Council:

Hartshire Noble Council is the fifth novella in the Nambroc Sequence, a fantasy series.

Luigi Darkhawk is a mage and head of the Hartshire Noble Council which is a mysterious and anonymous civic organization that metes out justice to and for the city’s criminal underworld.

As the head of the noble council, he takes advantage of his position by doing favors for criminals in exchange for bribes and other illicit considerations which enables him to have a very nice life and own very nice things, including a penthouse suite in the most expensive hotel in the city.

While he enjoys the benefits of his position on the noble council, an assassin is killing members of the noble council and innocent by-standers with black bolts each containing magic-based explosive component. (Could these black bolts be the same black bolts stolen from Nambroc, the black elf city in the Nether Realm?) The city’s criminal underworld as well as the constables are scouring the city to find the person responsible for all the death and carnage.

At the same time of the assassinations, rumors are swirling about that there could be black elves hiding among the populace of the city. (Could the assassin be a black elf?)

Luigi wants to keep the status quo in the city because he wants to maintain is very nice life, but he knows the assassins needs to be stopped.

If the assassin is not caught, not being able to maintain his very nice life would be the least of his worries. Luigi could be the next victim of the assassin, and certainly does not want that to happen.

Please follow the link to Amazon to purchase Hartshire Noble Council:

http://www.amazon.com/Hartshire-Noble-Council-Nambroc-Sequence-ebook/dp/B015EVCDKY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1442427032&sr=8-1&keywords=Hartshire+Noble+Council

Sorry, but I do not think I can insert an image of the book cover as an Amazon purchase link.

I would also like to apologize for the length of time between posts. I will try to have more blog posts on a regular basis.

Thanks for read.

Until next time,

R.D.

Advertisements

Comments Off on Hartshire Noble Council

Filed under Uncategorized

Creating a fantasy character similar to Colonel Sebastian Moran . . .

Colonel Sebastian Moran was a created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle as a henchman for Professor James Moriarty in his mysteries featuring Sherlock Holmes.

Moran became one of my favorite literary characters after reading Return of Moriarty by John Gardner. This story was the first book in a trilogy where Professor James Moriarty was portrayed something akin to a gaslight godfather. The colonel was only featured in the first book and he had a small role. He died in the first half of the story.

What drew my interest to Moran was that he came from a wealthy family, privileged education at Eton College of Cambridge University, had a checkered history in the army – but attained the rank of colonel – and was forced out for reasons that were unclear, was a gambler, enjoyed fine food and drink, killed Ronald Adair, and had business and professional relationship with Professor Moriarty.

Return of Moriarty takes place after Reichenbach Falls and around the same time as the murder of Ronald Adair. Professor Moriarty has put Colonel Moran in charge of the professor’s criminal organization while Moriarty was away from London.

I considered Colonel Moran to be both a fixer and enforcer similar to Al Neri and Rocco Lampone in the Godfather books and movies.

In this blog post, I wanted to write a little bit about Colonel Sebastian Moran and how he pertains to the fantasy novellas that I write.

My stories feature criminals and criminal organizations in a fantasy setting.

When I create a character that I want to use as enforcer or fixer in one of my stories, I have always used Colonel Sebastian Moran as inspiration.

To use a sports analogy, I always think of the power or clean-up hitter bunting in baseball.

In football, the defensive tackle intercepting a pass and avoiding tackles on his way to the end zone.

To translate this notion or inspiration to a fantasy story, I am interested in a strong and brawny character that is willing to use a knife or a dagger – instead of a sword – to kill someone, preferably from behind. Same type of character that uses guile and cunning.

I am probably describing a character like Conan or Fafhrd and Grey Mouser, but I have never read any of those books. I have read books that featured characters that are small in stature, but are willing to use physical force to fight larger opponents. One character that come to mind is the Red Viper in the A Song of Ice and Fire novels. Red Viper is armed with a rapier when he fights in a duel with the much larger and bigger character, the Mountain.

The fixers and enforcers that I have created are nothing like Colonel Sebastian Moran, but I keep striving and trying.

Over the next few weeks and months, I will introduce some of the characters that I have created that populate my stories such as Malloy Epps, Hellers Kastenmeyer, Velo, Bear Shiancoe, Sebastian Sparrow, Miller Octeus, and Roone Davis to name a few. These characters will appear in future novellas and excerpts posted on my blog.

Thanks for reading.

Until the next time,

R.D.

Comments Off on Creating a fantasy character similar to Colonel Sebastian Moran . . .

Filed under Uncategorized

Traitors in a Fantasy Story or Series

I finished reading the book Spy Among Friends by Ben MacIntyre.  The book is about Kim Philby, a high ranking counter-espionage operative in England’s MI-6, and how he had been spying for the USSR for nearly thirty years.

I found the book to be very engaging and interesting.

At the end of the book, I became very angry at Kim Philby for what he done, and to get away by defecting to the USSR, but only after he passed the vital secrets to the enemy, including the names of the Russians who were spying for England.

This is not a review of the book, but I would recommend if you are interested in spies and espionage, this book may be for you.

What this post is about is an idea I got from reading this book, and I wanted to write a story or series of stories on the idea of a character like Kim Philby, but in a fantasy setting.

When I first thought of the idea shortly after reading the book, I thought it would be ideal for an alternative history or steam-punk type of setting.  The more I thought about it the less I liked the idea of using either of these two settings. I really do not like alternative history or steam-punk stories.

I know if I want to write this type of story, then it has to be in the fantasy setting that I have working in for the last six years or so.

If this type of story is to work, then it has to be something like dwarves spying on dwarves, elves spying on elves, humans spying on humans, gnomes spying on gnomes, halflings spying on halflings. The idea of spy is someone who can operate without drawing attention to himself or herself.  A dwarf could be spying on his or her fellow dwarves at the behest of the elves or humans. Something like that could work, I suppose.

In some spy and espionage stories and non-fiction works I have read, the focus tends to be limited to the spy, spy catcher, and the spy’s handler. The main character is usually the spy and part of the story deals with the spy’s motivations  and reasons for spying, another major part of the story usually is the spy evading the spy catcher, and spy interacting with the handler.  One aspect that is not dealt as much is the consequences of the spying.

One thing that really caught my attention in MacIntyre’s book was the number of lives lost because of Kim Philby’s actions. The estimate has been from the hundreds to the thousands.

This was spurred the interest in writing a story or series of stories based on traitors.

I am thinking of using a concept of the Black Ajah from Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Times series and somehow blending that with Kim Philby to come up with an idea to write.

If there is a story or series of stories featuring spies and traitor, then there has to be some sort of conflict such as a war.

One of the primary characters should be a counter-espionage operative with access to intelligence.  He or she passes the intelligence to the enemy. I think it is important to show the motivations and reasons for the character to do what he or she is doing.

I would also write a story that would feature a bit of intelligence passed the enemy that the enemy acts  on.  For example, the primary character passes along a list of names of people spying behind enemy lines. Something happens to some or all the people on the list.

Another bit would be the intelligence service and spy catcher conduct a damage assessment to determine if more assets are at risk during this conflict.  A high-ranking official from the enemy defects and has  a great deal of intelligence, including the moniker that is used by the enemy to identify the primary character.

There would be at least one story dealing with the possible or possibly aborted extraction. Another story would deal with the potential fallout of the spy’s actions.

Thanks for reading.

Until the next time,

R.D.

4 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Hartshire Bank

Hartshire Bank is the fourth novella in the Nambroc Sequence, a fantasy series.  The novella is live available for purchase on Amazon.

The blurb for Hartshire Bank:

Crepier is miss and the bank he created is foundering at the start of Hartshire Bank, the fourth novella in the Nambroc Sequence, a fantasy novella. His disappearance sends members of Watley Greywall’s crew reeling. Crepier was the longest-serving lieutenant in Watley’s crew.

Sir Sander Guyle, a reputed crime lord who wants to be thought of as legitimate merchant, steps into the void created by Crepier’s disappearance to lead the bank. He seizes the opportunity of managing the bank to complete the evolution to becoming a tycoon.

Things become dangerous and precarious when Crepier’s dead body is discovered on the rocky banks of the Waterford River a few leagues outside of Hartshire. The cause of death was several stab wounds in the chest.

Several senior members of Watley’s crew suspect that Sir Sander Guyle was responsible for Crepier’s death.

Watley, on the other hand, does not seem to be too troubled by the murder of Crepier, her most loyal and longest-serving lieutenant.

It appears Watley Greywall is hiding something, but what is it?

Please follow the link to Amazon to purchase Hartshire Bank:

http://www.amazon.com/Hartshire-Bank-Nambroc-Sequence-Book-ebook/dp/B00ZJX7OMK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1434304236&sr=8-1&keywords=Hartshire+Bank

Sorry, but I do not think I can insert an image of the book cover as an Amazon purchase link.

Thanks for reading.

Until next time,

R.D.

Comments Off on Hartshire Bank

Filed under Uncategorized

Why I like Noble House by James Clavell . . .

Noble House by James Clavell is a book I have read too many times over the years that I lost count, but it is still one of my favorite novels.

The book may not be the best written because of two-dimensional characters, head-hopping, and incomplete plots, and other plots that seem to disappear.

Amazon has the following blurb for Noble House on its web site:

“The setting is Hong Kong, 1963. The action spans scarcely more than a week, but these are days of high adventure: from kidnapping and murder to financial double-dealing and natural catastrophes–fire, flood, landslide. Yet they are days filled as well with all the mystery and romance of Hong Kong–the heart of Asia–rich in every trade…money, flesh, opium, power.”

This post is not a review or a critique of Noble House, but the reason why this book is important in my fantasy novella series.

The last line of the blurb encapsulates why I read this book as many times as I have: “money, opium, and power.” (I am not really interested in the flesh part, so I will not refer to in this post.)

Noble House has three components – among many – that interests me the most: (i) high finance; (ii) espionage; (iii) and crime.

The high finance component is in the plot line featuring large conglomerate, Noble House, which has been owned and operated for a few centuries by the Struan-Dunross family and its descendants. Family loyalty, cultural issues, double-dealing, corporate takeovers, corruption, and the like are prominent issues in the high finance component.

The espionage component is in the plot line featuring the suspicion of a few people in Noble House considered to be spies for China and the Communist Party, Soviet Union, and the tactics used by espionage and counter-espionage agents and spies. One side spreading propaganda, while the other side is countering one hand, and spreading their own propaganda on the other.

The crime component is in the plot line featuring corruption, drug dealing (the opium reference in the blurb), financial crimes, murder, gun running, kidnapping, and revenge.

I have published three novellas in longer fantasy series:

Hondus Pointe:

This fantasy novella features a great deal of espionage, corruption, and criminal activity, and it features black elves, gray dwarves, kobolds, red orcs, and other fairly standard fantasy tropes.

Nestor deNeffo, a black elven corrupt and rogue operative in Nambroc Knives, plays a cat-and-mouse game with Thrado Marche, his immediate superior officer, as he interacts with drug and spice traffickers and hob-nobs with enemies of the black elves of Nambroc in the Underground because he wants more money to acquire the finer things in life, and power, and also enjoys be an operative in the Nambroc Knives, a black elven intelligence service and the pre-eminent in all of the Underground..

In order to raise his cost of living, he has nothing but his skills, training, and experience to acquire money as much as he efficiently and fast as he can. The only thing he knows is being an intelligence operative, and so a black elf without any loyalty and qualms can earn a great deal of money and wield a great deal of power because of who he is and what he is willing to do.

Nestor deNeffo:

This fantasy novella is a continuation of Hondus Pointe, but Nestor expands is scope of his criminal and traitorous activities when he involves his co-conspirators in smuggling weapons to beings living on the Surface.

While Nestor is focused his energy, resources, assets, and time on his criminal and traitorous activities, counter-intelligence operatives in the Nambroc Knives are getting wind of what he is doing and begin to focus their energy, resources, assets, and time on investigating him and his co-conspirators.

Crepier:

This fantasy novella is the third in the Nambroc Sequence, a fantasy series, and features a great deal about finance, commercial enterprises, government corruption, criminal involvement in legitimate businesses, money laundering, counterfeiting, double dealing, and murder. This novella also deals with the base emotions of ambition, loyalty, truthfulness, greed, and the like.

Crepier is an elven accountant and financier for a mid-tier crime lord, and he wants to establish a bank to (i) have a better life and early retirement, and (ii) transition from being involved in criminal enterprises to legitimate enterprises, and (iii) get out from under the big bosses in the criminal organization.

The problem is that people who he is beholden to are not all on board with this idea of the bank.  The mid-tier crime lord does not want the big bosses in the criminal organization to learn about the bank because they would demand a cut of the bank profits, and the crime lord does not want to share. Yet, Crepier and the mid-tier crime lord realize that in order for the bank to be successful and flourish many of the denizens of the city’s underworld has to use the bank to keep their ill-gotten gains.

The bigger problem is that the big bosses in the criminal organization get wind of the bank, and they demand a cut of the bank profits.

Thanks for reading.

Until next time,

R.D.

Comments Off on Why I like Noble House by James Clavell . . .

Filed under Uncategorized

Crepier

Crepier is the third book in the Nambroc Sequence is live and available for purchase at  Amazon.

The blurb for Crepier:

The scene shifts to Hartshire in the Earth Realm from Nambroc in the Nether Realm in Crepier, the third novella in the Nambroc Sequence, a fantasy series.

Crepier, an accountant and black market financier, wants to retire and be financially set for the rest of his life.

To achieve this goal, he convinces Watley Greywall, local crime lord in Hartshire, to get behind his idea of establishing Hartshire Bank.

Other elements of the Hartshire criminal underworld are of two minds about this possibility.

One segment of the Hartshire criminal underworld wants to get involved with this opportunity to start a bank because it is a legitimate commercial enterprise and a way to launder their ill-gotten gains.

Another segment believes the bank will the draw attention of the Hartshire Constabulary, which would be more problems than it is worth.

All that matters to Crepier is establishing the Hartshire Bank, and nothing or no one will stop him.

http://www.amazon.com/Crepier-Nambroc-Sequence-Book-3-ebook/dp/B00W2AQD0C/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1429291539&sr=8-1&keywords=Crepier

Comments Off on Crepier

Filed under Uncategorized

Bregan D’aerthe and the Fantasy Stories that I enjoy to read and write.

I  like reading about organizations, particularly criminal organizations. My background is in sociology and the law, and I guess there is where I developed an interest in organizations.

I also like reading fantasy.

In fantasy novels I have read, there are not too many criminal organizations featured or mentioned. J.V. Jones’ A Sword of Shadow Series features in a mysterious espionage-type of organization of rangers called the Phage which I would like to read more about.

I’m sure there are many types of criminal and espionage organizations featured in urban fantasy stories, but I don’t read urban fantasy.

In epic fantasy, I have read about mercenaries and mercenary companies. The Golden Company featured in A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin. The Northmen featured in Joe Abercrombie’s First Law books. The Black Ajah in the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan and completed by Brandon Sanderson.

I have also enjoyed reading about the Corleone Family in the Godfather novels, Professor Moriarty and his organization in the Moriarty novels written by John Gardner, and the Union in the Union Trilogy in the James Bond novels written by Raymond Benson.

I would like to read more about the Black Sun in the Star Wars novels.

The closest  I have come to reading about this idea in a fantasy novel or fantasy series is the character of Jarlaxle and his Bregan D’aerthe orginization in the Drizzt novels written by R.A. Salvatore.

Bregan D’aerthe is a mercenary company comprised primarily of male drow elves that are involved in criminal and shady commercial activities both in the Underark and other areas that are part of the Forgotten Realms.

R.A. Salvatore wrote A Servant of the Shard which featured Jarlaxle and Bregan D’aerthe, but not Drizzt,and I think this novel is the best of all of R.A. Salvatore’s Forgotten Realm novels.  This Forgotten Realm novel by R.A. Salvatore is only one of three that does not feature Drizzt.

I think there could be a demand for the certain type of readers that enjoy Salvatore’s work who would be interested in reading more stories set in the Forgotten Realms setting that feature Bregan D’aerthe and its members. The stories do not have to be full-length novels, but shorter pieces of works and along the same lines as A Servant of the Shard.

I also reading stories about process, and I can understand why other readers may find this type of story boring because there is not too much action, great deal of dialogue, and all the characters are involved in political maneuvering or machinations.  No one does this better than George R.R. Martin.

The first two books in the Professor Moriarty series by John Gardner, Return of Moriarty and Revenge of Moriarty, are good examples of novels featuring process in relation to criminal organizations.

One of the primary reasons why I wrote Hondus Pointe and Nestor deNeffo is because of my interest in criminal and espionage organizations featured in fantasy stories.  My next story, Crepier, features characters that are part of a criminal organization.

Thanks for reading.

Until next time,

R.D. Henderson

Comments Off on Bregan D’aerthe and the Fantasy Stories that I enjoy to read and write.

Filed under Uncategorized

Nestor deNeffo

This is the second post of 2015.

Nestor deNeffo, the second book in the Nambroc Sequence, is live and available for purchase on Amazon.

The synopsis of Nestor deNeffo:

A fantasy novella that is second in a series that follows the exploits of the conniving, calculating, and corrupt black elf intelligence operative as he expands his criminal activities to the surface when he is involved in a scheme to sell weapons up there.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00UVT291S

Comments Off on Nestor deNeffo

Filed under Uncategorized

Hondus Pointe

This is the first post of 2015.

Hondus Pointe, the first book in the NAMBROC SEQUENCE, is live and available for purchase on Amazon.

The synopsis of Hondus Pointe:

The first book in a fantasy novella series takes place in the Nether Realm featuring a cadre of rogue black elven intelligence operatives believing black elves should return to the surface to rule the Earth Realm like they did nearly two thousand years ago.

Please follow the link to purchase Hondus Pointe:

http://www.amazon.com/Hondus-Pointe-Nambroc-Sequence-Book-ebook/dp/B00T4Y5R8I/ref=la_B00T57YRBW_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1423003899&sr=1-1

Comments Off on Hondus Pointe

Filed under Uncategorized

Continue the Writing and Publishing Process

Hello.
It has been over five months since I wrote a post for this blog.

The sequence of novels that comprised the first long story is up to ten or eleven novellas with a word count range between 25,000 and 40,000.

I have started writing a sequence of novellas based on the second long story I wrote. I have written almost four novellas with a word count range between 20,000 and 24,000. The fourth, and current novella I am writing, appears that it will be the longest of this sequence, so far. I am not certain how many more novellas I will write based on this second long story, but I will write at least three more novellas, maybe as many as five more.

I have also written three novellas that feature a character I wrote in the fourth long story. I have outlined the fourth novella story, but I think I will hold off writing it until I write some additional novellas based on the fourth long story.

Since this summer, I have been using a beta reader, a copy editor, and, most recently, a proofer/formatter. I think I learned from my experiences with the first two editors that I have used when I chose the new people. I have used the beta reader for three of the novellas. I have used the copy editor for one novella and I sent her the second novella today. The proofer has completed the first pass of the first novella with suggestions to make the manuscript have better flow.

I have also hired a book cover designer to create the book covers for the first two novellas. She has already done the cover for the first novella, and I really like it. Looking forward to seeing the cover for the second novella.

I planned to publish the first two novellas by the end of November, but because of the schedules of the editors, book cover designer, and myself, I was not able to meet that goal. Now, I hope to publish the first two novellas in the first two months of next year.

During this process, I am not sure if I have become a better writer. I think my writing has improved in both substance and presentation, but I have not let that stop me. I know that I am more productive and efficient. I think I have written more words this year than I did in the previous two years.

I have also gone from being an exclusive pantster to an outliner, and productivity has increased and I have become more efficient. I also increased the number of words I type a day. When I first started writing on a regular basis about five years ago, I think I wrote no more than 500 words a day. This year, I think I am writing an average of 2000 to 2500 words a day.

The ideas are also easier to develop.

The problem is the tale gets longer in the telling. I believe George R.R. Martin said that in an interview about his writing process.
The most gratifying thing is that I am able to take the criticism a little bit better, and not let that deter me in my writing process. Also, it helps when the people I work with on these stories like the stories.

Until next time,

R.D. Henderson

Comments Off on Continue the Writing and Publishing Process

Filed under Uncategorized